View Full Version : Can serpents stand still ?

04-09-2008, 05:24 AM
I frequently have to model curtains (big ones, like in a theatre or cinema) and have to animate them opening & closing, sometimes round curved curtain tracks.
It would seem obvious to do this using 'serpent'.
BUT I have to start the animation with a lot of frames of the curtain stationary and already on the curved track, and then I want to move it off with a smooth short acceleration.
Serpent won't play, it only seems to work with continuous movement - try to hold it still and the object snaps back into undeformed state.
Now I can make a setup with flat curtain & all it's texture UV mapped, and animate it around the track path with a nice long run-up, and at my desired start point do 'save transformed as' to get a curtain to use stationary.
but how do I get it to move off smoothely, or even better just hold still at my desired start point and then move off?

04-09-2008, 05:55 AM
Wouldn't cloth dynamics work well? Is the motion the top of the curtain follows too complicated? How about moving that curtain over a bone track?

I'm just not sure why Serpent made sense in this application.

04-09-2008, 06:04 AM
OK, I have not done this but you could try creating a morph that moves the curtains across the rod. Create a weightmap or point selection set to fix the curtain along the top and then use cloth dynamics. You can animate the morph with the graph editor. Theoretically you just morph them open and closed or however you want them and then the dynamic calculation should do the rest for the curtains. I would try a simple test first though before tackling the bigger project. Just an idea.

04-09-2008, 06:05 AM
very precise track required, often short fixed radius bends, very long (8m+ drop) curtain, with a single track at the top. bones ? - bottom of curtain ends up in Alaska, cloth dynamics? - life ain't long enough, I can model draped cloth on that scale by eye, but never managed to get LW to imitate it.
I use morphs to swag, curtains; but to take them round a corner on a track takes dozens of morphs on an object with many hundres of polygons

04-09-2008, 06:26 AM
Yeah you could use a bone chain and select use morphed position. This would allow you to create a straight morph that would follow the curve of the bone chain. This I have tried. :)

04-09-2008, 07:13 AM
I get the top of the curtain following the bone chain.
The bottom of the curtain it still heading for Alaska via Neasden.
am I missing something, the bones are tiny to go round the curve.

04-09-2008, 07:38 AM
No. I am missing something. Just throwing out ideas. I think I would need to see a picture or some kind of example of exactly what you are trying to do. Bones would be small yes and that can work I think.

04-09-2008, 08:06 AM
The bone chain thing should work.

1. Model your curtain with all the details and folds.
2. Model a proxy object that's a very simple version of your curtain.
3. Create a morph for the proxy that extends it far enough.
4. Create the bone chain.
5. Select "Use Morphed Position" for the bones.
6. Animate the morph.
7. Put Cloth Dynamics on the proxy, and save the motion.
8. Use that plugin for the curtain object. (I forget which one. FXlink? Something like that.)